sub·​cor·​ti·​cal | \ ˌsəb-ˈkȯr-ti-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio) \

Definition of subcortical

: of, relating to, involving, or being a part of the brain below the cerebral cortex subcortical lesions

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Examples of subcortical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation—the emotional force of spoken words. Virginia Morell, National Geographic, "Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here's why that matters.," 6 Aug. 2020 In both dogs and humans, subcortical parts of the brain process intonations, while higher, cortical parts of the brain process word meanings. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Keep Talking! Study Shows Dogs Process Speech in the Same Way Humans Do," 5 Aug. 2020 Entrainment usually happens without conscious thought, occurring in the subcortical regions of the brain, Stegemoller says. Luke Ottenhof, Popular Mechanics, "Music Has Always Made Us Feel Better. Can Tech Help the Healing?," 26 July 2020 These suggest that the control region may be located in the subcortical region of the left brain hemisphere. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, "‘The Bilingual Brain’ Review: Two Souls in One Body," 5 Mar. 2020 The amygdala, a subcortical brain structure that responds to threat, can become hijacked: Children who experienced parental deprivation show amygdala hyperactivity, meaning the brain is more likely to signal danger even when there is none. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 Or different mechanisms might generate an attack in subcortical brain structures that help to process light, sound and other sensory stimuli and influence pain-sensing neurons in the brain. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 Connections between higher-order systems and subcortical regions were also altered. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Inflammation is bad, including for those in the womb," 12 Apr. 2018 In people with autism, the imbalance may favor the excitatory subcortical signaling involved in face perception. Rita Giordano,, "Study: Overstimulation, not indifference, makes eye contact hard for people with autism," 27 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subcortical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subcortical

1899, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for subcortical

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The first known use of subcortical was in 1899

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subcortical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for subcortical


sub·​cor·​ti·​cal | \ -ˈkȯrt-i-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio) \

Medical Definition of subcortical

: of, relating to, involving, or being nerve centers below the cerebral cortex subcortical lesions subcortical sensation

Other Words from subcortical

subcortically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce subcortically (audio) \ adverb

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